Apparently @TomCoburn supports PETA #trollin
Yes, it’s a deliberately trollish title.
But like PETA, Senator Tom Coburn, Republican of Oklahoma, spends a lot of time denouncing pork in a daily online publication he calls the “pork report”. But unlike PETA, who’s naked activism is quite welcomed in my sight, I daresay Coburn should keep his wrinkly old ass clothed.
I am inspired by this NPR report and then outraged by Coburn’s spokesman’s amazingly boorish, lunkheaded, and intellectually deficient response:
John Hart, a Coburn spokesperson, said in an email that “our report never claimed all the money was spent on shrimp on a treadmill. The scientists doth protest too much. Receiving federal funds is a privilege, not a right. If they don’t want their funding scrutinized, don’t ask.”
I decided to look at what Coburn thinks is improper government spending in his daily pork report.
$5 million NSF grant to provide wine production training: According to Stonebridge Research (“strategic consultants to the wine industry”) in a report for the Missouri Wine and Grape Board, an state government organization to promote the state’s wine industry, in 2009, the Missouri wine industry contributed $1.6 billion to the state economy. It employs 14,051 people and pays $176 million in taxes to the state. To summarize, Coburn is complaining about an infinitesimally small (10^-6) part of the budget designed to help grow an industry that by all measurements is contributing a lot back to the state.
$1 million grant to study the causes of a rape kit processing backlog in Houston: This is probably the most egregious “example” of government pork. Isn’t it logical to attempt to discover the causes of a failure in order to avoid repeating them?
Apparently, Coburn is a stubborn old man and in the face of clear failure, his strategy is to just try harder. Yea, let us, as a nation, not study our mistakes and instead repeat them but with more money.
Coburn is the kind of person that, when his computer locks up, hits the Escape key repeatedly and ineffectually believing that the computer cares about his rage. Coburn is the kind of person who, when at the roulette wheel, doubles his bet in an attempt to simply return to a net zero loss. Coburn is the kind of person who would go six pool and lose and simply believe he’s not executing it well enough. Coburn is the kind of person who, if he were at the helm of HP, continue its consumer products division and lose increasing amounts of money on razor-thin margins in the PC and notebook markets.
What I’m trying to say is that Coburn is a stubborn fool.
$80,000 to help preserve Woody Guthrie’s scrapbooks: Yes, illustrious Senator Tom Coburn wants to deny researchers first-hand source material to aid them in their study of this famous American folk singer. Never mind that his songs preserved a lot of the musical tradition from folk and blues songs he learned during the Great Depression. Who cares that he inspired people like Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen. Clearly, nobody from Coburn’s state, where Guthrie was born, cares about Guthrie’s contributions to the music world.
Today I learned Guthrie’s first and middle name is Woodrow Wilson. I think Senator Coburn, being of elderly age, probably misread his daily talking points memo from Andrew Breitbart, and thought Guthrie was that President who created the Federal Reserve and the income tax.
All this in an effort to save less money then the pay increase he gave to his staffers from 2010 to 2011.